last post I told you about the fact the interior of the Basilica of Saint Nicholas is full of treasures: one of these is the Crypt of the Basilica.
Two marble staircases in the lateral naves lead down to the crypt and as soon as you enter inside this place, the perceived atmosphere reflects the sanctity of the place.
The crypt has a rectangular plan with a cross vaulted ceiling that is based on 26 columns.
Columns are not all the same. Most of them are Greek marble columns, the other were made with Numidia marble, caristio marble, coral breccia.
The capitals of the crypt us back to 1000, to form Romanesque and Byzantine: typical of the Romanic churches, they have figures carved richest of historical informations.
The construction of the crypt (which is the oldest part of the Basilica of Saint Nicholas) was desired by Abbot Elias and was built specifically in order to house the saint’s relics.
The most interesting aspect of the crypt is the coexistence of two religions: Orthodox and Catholic faith. The presence of an Orthodox chapel in the crypt is a clear signal in this regard.
And not for nothing, in the previous post I told you about how devotees come from every part of the world but particularly from orthodox Russia.
The main altar is sober and austere style and the saint’s relics were laided there.
The relics are protected from a urn where each year a mysterious holy ooze leak: it's known as the Manna of Saint Nicholas.
On the wall opposite the main altar, you can see painted lunette depicting scenes from the Saint's life.
At the exit of the crypt other stunning and unique details will capture the imagination and attention of your visitors.
But devotion to the saint is the main aspect of this place and it is also shown through the donations from the faithful.
Some photos contain some Lightroom post processing.
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